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A Prince Without a Kingdom

(Vango #2)

4.39  ·  Rating details ·  1,278 ratings  ·  152 reviews
"Rich in mysteries, enlivened by surprises, and suffused with suspense. It is so beautifully wrought, it reminds us why we love to read, and there can be no higher praise." — Booklist (starred review)

Vango has been in danger for as long as he can remember. The second half of Timothée de Fombelle’s epic adventure follows its dashing hero through the years between World Wars
Paperback, 464 pages
Published October 4th 2016 by Candlewick Press (first published 2011)
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Lidik Unfortunately, this book and Vango #2 seem to be inseparable, you can't read one without simultaneously reading the other.…moreUnfortunately, this book and Vango #2 seem to be inseparable, you can't read one without simultaneously reading the other.(less)
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Average rating 4.39  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,278 ratings  ·  152 reviews

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Emma Kendrick
I don't know where to start.

There was so much beauty in this book. So much sadness, yet so much overcoming of sadness. So much faith and love and hopelessness and hope, so many missed opportunities and so many occasions made the best of.

I loved it.

The writing style was simple. The book was somehow very quietly written, despite its often action-packed plot. I felt like it reflected Vango's character. He can do and does so much, but he remains quiet and strong. He doesn't want to be the hero, an
Nick Swarbrick
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tend to mistrust second volumes that are really not a new book but just a binding or marketing issue - and I felt that about the Vango narrative: this was one novel in two parts. I loved them both - but wished they had been one book. This volume continues the Vango "game" of repeatedly teasing the reader about names and relationships and then, but by bit, revealing a person, a past crime or tragedy. It is wholly successful here.
The second "half" of Vango, then, continues the complex - and it
Fantastico! Wow, what a ride this was! The two books in this series really seem to be just one book splint in half, so I shall review them as a single unit. Random thoughts:

Vango is completely unforgettable. Even though I don't know what he looks like, the author paints such a crystal clear portrait of his soul that I feel I know him well. This troubled young man has no idea where he came from and I was completely invested in finding out his heritage along with him. And nearly every character in
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
Until scientists invent a way of erasing memories, readers will always have the problem of never being able to experience that feeling of reading a book for the first time, given that they've read it once before of course.

A Prince Without a Kingdom, the concluding part of Vango, ties together every thread of the story with the same page-turning excitement as the first book. I suspect the only thing stopping this story being published in one volume is that the hardback would have required you to
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tremendous. I read both the books in this duo over the course of three days. The story itself is intricate, with plots tying together like a helix of DNA. The characters are intriguing, and each character forces you to buy into their individual stories; their own slices of the pie.

All in all, best two-part series I've read. Ever.
Beth  Bennett
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an absolutely amazing journey these two books took me on. Absolutely loved the characters and they way their stories were revealed, slowly building up their relationships with each other.
I was grabbed from the off, with the descriptive passages of the opening chapter of the first book right to the end.
Ben Trevail
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant follow up concluding the Vango story: so much more than a YA novel, it's a complex narrative web cleverly intertwined with world events (Stalin, Hitler etc). A must read. ...more
Isaac Harris
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent conclusion to the first story. The only thing that might take this down to a 4.5 for me is that there are so many characters and so much happened in the first book that it took me a little while to get into the right headspace to remember what had happened in book 1. I had to spend a lot of time flicking to the cast of characters page (thanks for including that) to remind myself of everyone's back story. All the pieces of the puzzle are so beautifully resolved - this series is one o ...more
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: absolute-loves
This was a gorgeously written novel. Unpredictable and satisfying.
Wendy Bamber
Feb 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can’t get enough of Vango, and would love to see someone make this into a film. I had to re-read the last few chapters when I finished, partly because I got a bit lost with the characters, and partly because I wasn’t ready to put it down and end this journey. The list of characters at the front of each book is helpful and makes this a good choice for older 10+ capable children prepared to really commit. Set in World War Two, there are features of arms dealing and resistance and zeppelins but t ...more
Some of my favorite parts from the first book largely disappeared: pirates, zeppelins, and political strife in between World Wars Europe so I did not like the concluding book as much. It seemed much longer to me, more than the page count anyway. I did like the reveal of who Vango was, and why people seems to be obsessed with him. On the other hand, I found some of the drama in Scotland to be tiresome, as well as the treachery in the French police. The book seemed to devolve into personal dramas ...more
Alex  Baugh
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Back in May 2014, I review Vango: Between Sky and Earth, the story of a young man who is trying to solve the mystery of who he is and why there are people who want him arrested or dead. Set in the early 1930s, I wrote that this was historical fiction at its best and I couldn't wait to read the sequel.

And I am happy to say, the sequel, A Prince Without a Kingdom, is every bit as good as Between Sky and Earth. The story begins shortly after a brief recap of what happened in Book I, this novel open
Elegantly written and tasting of books both classic and contemporary, A Prince Without a Kingdom is a conclusion of a tale of intertwined lives over the period of many years. It is a tale of love and revenge, of fear and heroism. Timothée built an intricate scaffold of characters both historical and fictional; Their dance across continents and time was incredibly suspenseful, as ships passed in the night and characters you longed to see meeting face to face missed each other by mere moments time ...more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I've read a series as beautiful as this one. I'm so in love with the setting, atmosphere and characters of this book. I wish I could live in that story, or have my life narrated by the Timothée de Fombelle. (I highly recommend it, can you tell?) ...more
This week I’m reading a historical fiction series set in WWII with pirates, secret monks, zeppelins, Scottish castles, mysteries, and a hint of the magical. I am currently reading the second book, A Prince Without a Kingdom, in Timothée de Fombelle’s Vango duology, and am looking forward to spending the weekend immersed in this world. This beautifully written and compelling series was translated from the original French and has an almost lyrical tone to it, which seems to instill a sense of the ...more
Ahh, Vango, Vango, Vango. I have bumped your first book up to a solid 5/5 stars because I feel like this book is "lesser than" the first one, "Vango: Between Sky and Earth".

Really, this duology is just one book split into two. It could have been kept together, making one GIANT tome for a reader to lug around (smaller if they decided to use a smaller font and margins), but for some reason--probably to help indicate the years that go by between the events of books one and two-- they are split up.
Mrs G
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More of the same from part 2. A rip-roaring adventure with a colourful cast of characters. Funny and exciting. Loved it.
Jip W
Feb 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a story with great characters and a high level of suspense and adventure!
( 4.5/5 )

Ugh, of course, another review gone! I seem to be really bad at typing reviews in time, or I'm just too stupid to do it on my low-battery-laptop.. Again. But you're not interested in that, so I'll just write my review, although it obviously is shorter than the one I wrote before.

So, this book was a treasure. You know that book that you're not so sure about, but there is also something about it that lures you in? This is that book. I really, really didn't know if I should read this, but
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
I really liked book one of this previously unheard-of author. I get that this is translated from French, and things don't always translate perfectly, but this book lacked the charm, humor, urgency, and life of the first. This slogged on for too long; it is technically supposed to be young adult (I think?), but Vango ages fairly rapidly throughout the novel.

It's also becoming one of my biggest annoyances when novels, TV shows, and/or movies have a group of characters and then proceed to break the
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ah. For me it is hard to find the words that do justice to this completion of Vango's story.

Not much of the plot of this book can be shared without spoilers for volume 1, but suffice to say this volume, like it's predecessor is exquisite, expansive, and richly woven. full of love, intrigue & true history.

Fombelle paints a huge canvas spanning decades and continents, playing with the idea of something that could have changed the course of history. It's ambitious, breathtaking storytelling and he
Bryce Campbell
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Prince Without a Kingdom was an amazing book, it kept me turning the pages and there was never a dull or poorly written passage. This book is a continuation of the book Vango, in Vango, Vango travels the world searching for his past. But when he finally finds what he is looking for it is not enough. He goes on a quest searching for revenge on those that stole his past. The novel is an incredible adventure that tries friendship and sees the world change. Every chapter is more exiting than the l ...more
Millie Rowley
I definitely preferred it when it was mysterious and he was a mystery. I think once you see a person and think “oh, he seems mysterious” and then you get to know them, it changes your perception. Because they’re no longer mysterious and that’s what intrigues you in the first place. Eh I dunno, a while since I read this one but can’t really remember it, just how I felt at the end.
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The sheer brilliance of the plot of these two books blows me away. I fell in love, it broke my heart, it released my soul.

Absolutely amazing
Hannah K
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Guys, you HAVE to read this! (I'm reviewing Vango #1 and #2 together, as they are basically one book split into two.)
First of all, great writing here. Just incredible. Not what you would usually think of (maybe because it's translated), but it's creative--keeps surprising you, and there are some beautiful lines and turns of phrases.
"There was a first tiny explosion in Vango's heart."
I don't know how to sum up this book! Non-stop suspense, action, a little romance, a million characters that are
Sarah Salisbury
I'm having a difficult time trying to figure out where to begin this review, so I will start by saying this: this book has me absolutely floored. I was supposed to be studying for an AP World History test today. I finished this book instead. That was one of the best decisions I've made this week.

Everything about "A Prince Without a Kingdom" is just done right. The writing has a subtle lyricism to it that is very pleasing to the brain and yet so subtle that it's almost hard to pick up on what is
Debbie Deb
3 words review : fall, believe, resist

feeling : there is a long way to freedom and peace.

word to the Author : Thank you M. Fombelle. The Chapter 2 of Vango's adventures doesn't disappoint. I think it might be darker than the 1st volume. Generously written, saw the twists coming but I liked them anyway.

Quotes : " Car pour elle, c'était trop tard. On pouvait lui faire des risettes, on pouvait chercher sa main dans ses poches, on pouvaitl'enfumer avec des baisers sur le front, avec l'odeur du taba
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a masterpiece.

Simply put. The story is so imaginative and interesting until the last page while the suspense keeps up.
The writing is so beautiful, detailed and vivid, I am still stunned. I could picture things very easily. How the author manages to say so much with few words at times is amazing.

To my own surprise, I was actually very happy with the ending, which closed most of the storylines nicely. The end was so heartfelt and beautiful and compensated some complicated parts I disl
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A college student told me this was the best book she’d ever read about a year ago. After getting it twice from the library, it finally worked into my one-book-ends, another-book-starts sequence. I had no idea what the story was about. I did notice that it is a translated book, which somehow made me expect a lower vocabulary level and some English writing flaws, but I was very wrong. The vocabulary was deep and the story was intricate and well translated. While it is YA, I’ve come to the conclusi ...more
Nov 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I read the first book, I wasn’t sure if it needed a second part. However the writer did a great job on both of the books and I can happily say I loved this book as much as the first one. I loved the characters and the extensive descriptions of them. Even if a character was only alive in the book for one or two pages, you still felt like you knew them inside an out. The writer really has a talent for that and I’d love to read more books of him in the future. I’m happy Vango finally found his ...more
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As a child...
Timothee de Fombelle was born in the heart of Paris in 1973, but often accompanied his architect father on his travels to Africa. Each summer his family left for the countryside (the west of France), where the five brothers and sisters lived like wild horses, making huts in the trees, playing in the river and losing themselves in the woods. In the evening they performed plays for the

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Vango (2 books)
  • Entre ciel et terre (Vango, #1)

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